ASN's Mission

ASN leads the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world by educating health professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge, and advocating for the highest quality care for patients.

learn more

Contact ASN

1401 H St, NW, Ste 900, Washington, DC 20005


The Latest on Twitter

Kidney Week

Abstract: SA-OR114

Sex Differences in Vascular Access

Session Information

Category: Women’s Health and Kidney Diseases

  • 2000 Women’s Health and Kidney Diseases


  • MacRae, Jennifer M., University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Ahmed, Sofia B., University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Elliott, Meghan J., University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Quinn, Robert R., University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • James, Matthew T., University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Hiremath, Swapnil, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • King--Shier, Kathryn M., University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Oliver, Matthew J., Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Hemmelgarn, Brenda, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Scott-Douglas, Nairne William, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Ravani, Pietro, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Although fistulas are actively promoted, studies report fewer women receive and use a fistula. Whether women undergo similar efforts at fistula creation and procedures as men is unknown. We sought to describe differences between men and women for probability of receiving a fistula attempt, achieving independent fistula use, remaining catheter-free over time, and the rate of access-related procedures as a function of sex in a cohort of Canadian incident hemodialysis patients.


Prospectively collected vascular access data on incident dialysis patients from five Canadian programs using Dialysis Measurement Analysis and Reporting (DMAR) system to determine differences in fistula related outcomes between women and men. Probability of receiving a fistula attempt and the probability of successful fistula use was determined using binary logistic regression. Catheter and fistula procedure rates were described using Poisson regression. We studied time to fistula attempt and time to fistula use accounting for competing risks of death, transplant and recovery of kidney function.


We included 1,446 (61%) men and 929 (39%) women. Men had a lower body mass index (p<0.001) and were more likely to have coronary artery disease (p<0.001) and peripheral vascular disease (p<0.001) than women. 688 (48%) men and 403 (43%) women received a fistula attempt. After accounting for confounders (age, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, inpatient starts), men were more likely to receive a fistula attempt (OR 1.29 [1.08-1.54] and to achieve catheter free use of the fistula at one year (OR 2.62 [1.88-3.65]. We found an average of 2.30 procedures per person-year after start of dialysis, with no significant difference between men and women (IRR 1.04 [0.93-1.15]). Following a fistula attempt, women received more procedures (IRR men v women: 0.86 [0.77-0.96]) attributed to an increased number of catheter procedures (IRR men vs women: 0.67 [0.56-0.79]. Men received more fistula procedures IRR 1.20 [1.04-1.37]).


We found that, as compared to men, fewer women undergo a fistula attempt and after adjusting for comorbidities this disparity increases. Not only do women have fewer fistula creations, but they are less likely to successfully use their fistula without a catheter in place.